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Anxiety and Stress Disorders (Children)

Homework Issues

02/21/2002

Question:

My daughter is 9 years old and an A-B student. She is in 3rd grade. The problem is she is lying to me and her teachers. She consistently claims that her homework is done and it isn`t. One time she even tried to hide her homework behind her hands and still claimed that her homework was done. I would like to stop this behavior. What can I do and could it be she needs to be evaluated further?

Answer:

I would get to the root of the problem by asking your daughter how she feels about her homework, how much time does it take her to do it and does she `dread` starting. Often kids with obsessive-compulsive behavior are good students but spend an inordinate amount of time on schoolwork, just getting it `perfect`. If she erases and recopies or rewrites or re-reads a lot, this could make her avoid homework altogether to keep from getting into her rituals. In short more information from your daughter and from her teacher is warranted before you seek professional help.

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Response by:

Floyd R Sallee, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati